Arts & Culture

Five tips to manage time and stress this term

These tips about managing time and stress might seem a little familiar, but that’s because they’re tried and true. Read on to see what University counselors have had to say, as well as where you might be able to test these tips around campus.

1) Maintain a healthy diet

This seems straightforward enough, but when you’re busy running between class and work or spending time with friends, getting the right nutrition can seem less appealing than, say, grabbing something that is fast and easy but probably not as good for you. This can especially apply to breakfast. But breakfast is important because it “fuels your brain and body for the start of your day,” according [email protected]@Would you really put “said” at the end of this name and [email protected]@ Ramah [email protected]@[email protected]@, a public health educator and peer health coordinator at the University Health Center.

Luckily for University students, breakfast food is widely available on campus at places such as The Buzz Cafe (below the EMU Fishbowl), Milky Way Bagels on East 13th Avenue and Glenwood on Alder Avenue.

2) Keep up a regular sleep schedule

Try going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every day. “This sets your internal clock to be awake and asleep at a certain time, helping you be more awake and rested during the day,” Leith said.

The University Health Center will host two free classes on sleep on Oct. 18 and Nov. 22 from 2:30 -4:30 p.m., both of which will cover topics such as sleep, stress management, meditation and relaxation techniques.

3) Exercise

It has been proven that exercise helps to relieve stress and can encourage people to sleep easier (as long as they don’t exercise three hours before trying to go to sleep because it actually keeps the body awake for longer, Leith said). The Student Recreation Center provides a number of opportunities for students to engage in all sorts of physical activities. It offers classes that range from team sports (like soccer, basketball and martial arts), individual sports (like golf), and mind-body classes (like yoga, pilates and meditation).

On top of these course offerings, the rec center organizes intramural leagues into a number of different sports each term in which students can create their own team with friends or join a team individually.

4) Keep track of your time and break assignments into more manageable pieces

If you’re more awake during the day because you have been eating right and exercising, try tracking the times when you have consistent free periods of time and also the time of day when you feel the most awake and focused. By doing this, students can recognize when they should be working on their hardest assignments and also when they might be able to break assignments down into pieces that can be more easily completed.

“It’s all too easy to just sit and keep plodding along and then actually not notice after a couple of hours that it’s not useful time anymore … we can just get lulled into almost this sleep-studying,” said Amy [email protected]@[email protected]@, counselor and writing lab coordinator at the Teaching and Learning Center. “I think it’s good to maybe even set a timer, but at least keep an eye on the clock and say, ‘OK, in the next 20 minutes, or whatever the block of time is, here is what I’m planning to do in that block of time’” before taking a break or moving on to another assignment.

The Teaching and Learning Center offers classes during week four, six and eight about time-management and study skills (among other things) and hosts open office hours for study skills and time management on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

5) Let your friends know what you are planning to do

By breaking a task down and communicating that deadline to close friends or roommates, students can sometimes be more motivated to finish the task by that deadline.

“For a lot of people, articulating a commitment makes it feel more real,” Nuetzman said. “Usually when we’ve made a commitment to somebody else, many people are less likely to let down another person than to let down themselves.” This communication also presents the opportunity for friends to offer their support and avoids the complication of social events and distractions.

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